tv Public Affairs CSPAN November 29, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
ukranians, ethiopians, and albanians to come in to make sure a disproportionate number of our immigrants are not just from a small number of countries is important. absent that a higher percentage of our immigrants will be from mexico, india, and china, again if this bill passes a higher percentage of our immigrants will be from the major countries that send people here. . that's not the end of the world but there's added value in having people from all corns of the worldcom here and be part of our great country. in many cases this is the only way people from nepal or albania or ethiopia have a shot at coming to this country and succeeding. we also need people in this country across all different skill levels in our labor market. whether that labor includes toiling in the field or toiling in the downtown buildings at night or programming computers or designing aircraft, we have needs across all sectors of our economy.
not -- yes, in stem, but not just in stem. so we are asked to choose. asked to choose between people with graduate degree who we want to keep here in science, technology, engineering, and math. in many cases, if they're not allowed to stay, they will have to return to other countries and the jobs will follow them, costing our country jobs. choose between them and allowing people here from countries other than mexico, india, and china. some of whom are high skilled, some of whom are low skilled, divorce group across the board and looking back at many of our own forebears, certainly mine mitigating circumstance family came to this country in the late 19th century and early 20th century, 1890's, 1905. they didn't have master's degrees they zrntpampede's they
didn't have college degrees. and that's the case for many of our forebears. and here today their great grandson sits as a member of congress. and had a program then existed whereby they could arrive nellliss island and be here, i wouldn't be here today my father has a ph.d. but that's a legacy of his hardworking immigrant grandparents who came to this country without a college degree. and in many cases without something that's the equivalent of even a high school degree today. to work hard, to live the american dream and for their descendants to be able to serve in this august body. so it's a cause for refleck. both are important. and again the closed process of the bill doesn't allow for a discussion of the idea act or the staples act which would create a new stem immigrant visa
program. my other concern with this bill, as i mentioned, is that it would increase the number of illegal immigrants here in this country. simply by the way that the math works, the number of stem graduates is lower than the number of stem visas that are available each year. now it would be one thing if that was allowed to trickle down to other categories or, for instance, the overflow was allowed to be used for diversity visas there might be compromise. instead, those disappear theasm backlog of three or four years is dealt with, this 55,000 visas being taken away from albania and the ukraine and ethiopia and after character the back of those 55,000 visas will only result in 20,000 or so net immigrants. now 29,000 graduating from institutions of higher education, keep in mind, not everybody wants to stay here as
attractive as our country is, some people want to learn here and go back to other countries thansd fine as well. but many will want to stay here. in losing some of those visas, again, we are only increasing the immigration problem, the legal immigration problem and moving in the opposite direction addressing immigration in this country. there is little to be proud of with regard to the current state of affairs in immigration. it's very different than when my grandparents came here and came to ellis island and albeit with a misspelled name were able to go to work the next day. it's becoming harder and harter. the absence of a legal way of immigrants that's in touch with our labor market in this country, the lack of having an ore rahtive immigration system, has led to 10 million people
being here illegally, working here illegally, in many cases integrated into our communities, many of them have american children. yet without any way, currently, of getting right with the law. what we need to do in immigration reform is require that people who are here illegally get right with the law rather than prevent them from getting right with the law. which is what we do currently. so again, while stem immigration is very important, my colleagues are being asked in a closed proto sess to weigh that with the issue of immigrants from the ukraine and albania, at the same time the bill could increase, will increase, the number of illegal immigrants in this country, perhaps increasing the number of illegal immigrants will redouble the efforts of this congress to address this issue but given the enormous dwention of the problem already and the complete lack of consideration of any meaningful immigration bill by this congress to solve our broken
immigration system, inle not holding my breath. the zero sum bill on the floor asks us to weight one class of immigrants at the expense of another. in effect, trying to play politics and avoid solving our imdepration crisis. -- and avoid solving our immigration crisis. i think it's time for a transparent and open debate. it's time for compromise. it's time to work in a bipartisan fashion to actually replace our broken immigration system with one that works for our country, one that strengthens our economy, one that creates jobs for americans, one that make ours nation's immigration system more humane and makes it workable and enforceable. this bill, for all its merits, for all its problems, i think we can all agree it falls short on that account, fixing our broken
immigration system and replacing it with one that works, it has no additional enforcement provision, no border security provisions, it provides no requirement for people who are here illegally to get right with the law, rather it does create an excellent program to keep high tech graduates here. it destroys another valuable program to keep people from countries other than mexico and india and china and the u.k. here. it likely will increase illegal immigration by 10,000 or 20,000 a year and provides far solution -- and provides no solution. so a difficult decision for all members of the body and i'd like to think that member on both sides hopefully would agree we can do better. we need to do better. we have been called upon by the votes of the couldn't troy do better. and i encourage, whether it's in this congress or the next, congress to take up the difficult but critical issue of
replacing our broken immigration system with one that works for our country, creates prosperity for america, helps reduce our budget deficit, is humane, is enforceable, no one said it would be easy but that's what the people send us hoar to do and regardless of the outcome of this particular bill, we are simply taking another week in avoiding addressing the real issues of the imdepration crisis in this country. i encourage my colleagues to vote against the rule which was a closed process and doesn't allow for consideration of even noncontroversial amendments such as my ev-5 amendment. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, and to my good friend from colorado, we agree on so many issues. particularly as it relates to immigration reform. we agree. i think this is the first step
in regards to where we need to go. you have sold a very persuasive argument in regards to why it is so important so important that we have a stem vee is program. -- visa program. while it's important to us to keep that brainpower we educated in the united states, keep them here in this country to support our businesses, and our manufacturers so we can be more competitive on a global market, you have made my case on that. and i'll agree with you that this immigration system that we have is broken. i don't know -- i wasn't here two years ago or four years ago when the democrats were in power in both the house and senate and the presidency and they moved nothing forward that we're talking about today. disappointing when you have all the levers of government and
don't accomplish anything as it relates to this. and now we want to turn around and say that this is a flawed bill. at the ent of the day -- at the end of the day this meets the needs of our corporations, of create manager jobs here in america, -- creating more jobs here in america, create manager work. and it rectifies an issue in the video is a program, instofede having families split because someone has a legitimate green card, is a resident here, that he has to be split or she has to be split from their family. the mother of the children or their children are kept from coming to the united states because today the way the program is, they are kept from coming to the united states. so they don't have an opportunity to get a job anyhow. what this does do is rectifies a problem that allows parents to be reunited with their children.
i don't know, but that's important to me as a father of three. i would much rather have my family here if i was a resident alien here. i would rather have my family here so i could reach out, touch them, help encourage them, move them forward in the american principles. that's what i would want to do. versus -- versus trying to talk across great distances to try to bring a family together. that's no way to raise a family but they do it because they have to. this rectifies that problem. it doesn't allow them to go out and get a job, it does bring the family unit back together again. i know, mr. polis, you have a son. you would rather have your son with you than a thousand miles away. as i would. so this -- this is a step in the right direction. this is moving us forward, not
moving us backwards. this is actually taking an approach that should have been taken four years ago and the democrats punted it down the field. in september, we voted on this initial stem bill and we had 30 democrats cross the aisle. to vote with us. now we didn't meet the threshold of 2/3 because it was under suspension, so i truly believe that this bill has the ability to cross -- cut across the aisle and we heard our good friend from oregon talk about it. for the right seasons. you know, just because it's not perfect doesn't mean we should just throw it in the scrap heap. and i agree that, listen, we can pass this bill. send it to the senate. the senate has the option to bring it up, debate it, vote on it, amend it and send it back to the house. do your job. i agree that that's what they
should do. at least have the discussion. when the senate comes out and says, we're going to ignore it, we're not going to do anything with it, that's a disservice to the american public. it's aties service to those that create jobs and those americans that need jobs. talk about a zero sum game. this is not a way to reduce immigration. i don't know where my good friend got the numbers about how this is going to increase the number of illegal immigrants to this country, i've never heard that before, i've never seen anything in writing as it relates to that. not saying it's not true i don't know that. i think it sounds like a good number. we don't want to scare people to be opposed to something that's good for america. listen, you know, we made an investment as a nation to foreign students when they came here, when we aloud them here in the stem fields.
why let that investment leave? why would we ignore that investment and say, you know what, we don't care. when it has a direct negative impact on this country. not another country. on this country. has a direct negative impact. it's just common sense and i guess that's the problem. sometimes common sense in -- common sense and washington, d.c. are vast worlds apart. while looking at this, it's just a small, commonsense reform to our immigration policy but what it does do, it does address a dangerous diversity visa problem. even the former deputy assistant secretary testified in front of judiciary committee that visa lottery fraud includes multiple entries, fraudulent claims to education and work experience, pop-up spouses or family members and false claims of employment
or financial support in the united states. his words, not mine. for example, one third -- one third party agent from bangladesh entered every single name from the phone back in bangladesh in order to extort money. if your name got cull puled, he would extort money for you to come to the united states. or sell that winning slot to somebody else. that's not what the program was designed for. i would sugg quest to that you that students coming from foreign countries come across the board. we with have them from china from the ukraine as you like to keep pointing out from all over the world that come to our universitys, particularly for those stem degrees. advanced degrees. so i suggest that you continue that diversity by getting people that have gone to the max and that are going to be so productive here in america to
help us. it's a rational game. you know, i really wish that i knew if we passed this today that it would become law. the president's already kinda said he wouldn't sign it. i don't know how you can have it both ways, mr. speaker. when we talk about stem, those individuals have come to our universities and graduate with a degree in the stem sciences, how we can just ignore them and say, listen, this is good for america. instead of making this a republican or democratic idea, why don't we just pass it because it's the right idea? let's do something for once that's good for america and let's do something for once good for the green cardholders currently here in the united states, bringing their families together so they can become
productive in whatever sense their family decides. wouldn't we want to do that? i would want to do that. i would want to see families reunited, not split apart, not kept because of some arcane rule that's going to take them six or seven years maybe to get a green card so they can bring their family here in the united states where this will allow them to come after one year of being on the waiting list, they get the opportunity to come here and be reunited with their family. for all that we hear about democrats are always for families, this time i guess they're not. this time i guess because they're from some other country, maybe they're not that important. they are to me. i think it's important. you know, here's once where the republicans are stepping forward on an immigration issue that's good for america. it's good for the people that are currently here on green
cards legally. it allows them to reinvest. how can this be bad for america? is it because it's a republican idea? is that the reason why this is a bad piece of politics? i would hope not. i would hope that my colleagues across the aisle will feel like mr. blumenauer from oregon and look at the real merits on it and not perfect as any legislation that comes out of this place but at least it's a move in the step in the right direction and let the senate do their job. let the senate bring it up. let the senate vote on it and amend it and send it back to the house. let the senate for once do their job. and then, mr. president, you can make a decision whether you're going to veto it or not. but let's quit playing politics
with immigration. mr. speaker, i do want to thank my good friend from colorado -- because we agree on so many issues as it relates to this. we just don't agree on everything. and so with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to and without objection a motion -- the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house
by the direction of the democratic caucus, i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 822, resolved, that the following named members be and are hereby elected to the following standing committees of the house of representatives -- one, committee on agriculture, mr. garamendi. two, committee on science, space and technology, mr. curson. mr. larson: i ask that the resolution be considered as read and printed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the eyes of the world are on the gaza strip for eight days. hamas rained rockets down on israel. the mullas shipped rockets to the sudan, sent them up into egypt before smuggling them in tunnels. israel responded by doing the only thing a responsible nation could do, it defended itself. now the united states needs to show there are consequences for attacking this sovereign nation, consequences for hamas and iran as well. we should have stricter enforcement of sanctions against iran. iran and hamas both need to be held accountable for these attacks. israel are the moral right and
legal duty to defend itself from the barbarians, hamas. there is a cease-fire but only until hamas obtains more iranian missiles. hamas is the puppet and iran is the police departmentetteeer. the iranian regime need to go. the iranian people need to do away with the little guy in the desert, ahmadinejad. and that's the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the house will be in order. further requests for nute speeches? are there further requests for one-minute speeches? the gentleman from minnesota. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the more than 65 million family caregivers across the nation who work tirelessly and selflessly to
care for their loved ones who are chroniclely ill, disabled or aging so this month we celebrate national family caregivers month, a time to thank all those heroes who sacrifice their time and effort looking after others. mr. paulsen: they provide 80% of our nation's long-term care, saving families about $375 billion annually. caregivers are the silent heroes of the family. they work day in and day out to ensure that those in need care receive that support. taking care of sick family members is no doubt a difficult job, and i encourage caregivers to continue to utilize and recognize the resources they have in their community for support. i'd like to acknowledge the hard work of family caregivers in minnesota and helping -- those helping families in america. you exemplify the true meaning of putting someone else's needs first. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, thank you very much. just about 40 minutes or so ago we were in the midst of a debate concerning stem, something that most americans have come to now understand the acronym as it deals with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. as a longstanding member of the subcommittee on immigration and on homeland security, stem now is a basis for expanding visas to ensure -- to give opportunities to young people who are graduating from our research institutions of higher
learning that have been born in other countries, give them the ability to be able to stay here to help create jobs and to build this economy. that's a good thing. but on november 6, 2012, i think america spoke and said we're ready to go further. i voted no on the rule because i believe we're ready for comprehensive immigration reform, not something that will hurt us but something that will help us. for those who appreciated the statue of liberty that welcomed the poor and the downtrot, that welcomed the irish and the germans and the italians, we know that comprehensive immigration reform is the right way. this bill -- rule h.res. 821, is not the right way, and so i ask my colleagues to look to comprehensive immigration reform. mr. speaker, i'll speak about this bill tomorrow. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker, and members of the house. 12 years ago i took an oath to defend the constitution of the united states. i'm here today to urge my colleagues to uphold our second amendment right to bear arms. congress must act to uphold the citizens' right to bear arms in every state in the union. unfortunately in my home state, residents are de need the ability to carry firearms, even though the residents of every other state in the union are allowed to protect themselves and their family. the second amendment is clear and concise and meant to protect all citizens no matter where they live. i ask the congress and the states to uphold this fundamental and basic right. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. are there further requests for one-minute speeches?
under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. biggert, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. zbigniew brzezinski -- mrs. biggert: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to start the special orders for those members on this side of the aisle that are retiring or leaving at the end of this -- of the 2012. mr. speaker, i rise today not to say goodbye but to say thank you. after 14 wonderful and productive years, i will be stepping away from this podium for the last time at the end of the 112th congress. representing the people of the 13th district of illinois has been my great -- has been the
great honor of my lifetime. words cannot express the depth of gratitude i feel for my friends, colleagues, supporters and staff that have made this time in washington so cheerful and fulfilling. i can recall i first stepped out onto the house floor as a member of this great body and said to myself, how did i end up in the u.s. congress surrounded by the legacies of so many great leaders? growing up on the south side of chicago, i never expected to become a lawyer or school board president, much less a member of congress. at the time few women went to college, let alone law school. today i know the past year was often the same for all who walk these halls. we are just americans who love our communities and our country and found ourselves pursuing that love through the service
to others. even those who rarely see eye to eye, i know we share a passion for creating a better future for the next generation and there has always been enough to bridge any gap that divides us. maybe that's why i've always been known as a moderate. i like to assume the best about people with whom i disagree, at least until they prove me wrong, and thankfully i can say without question that have rarely been wrong, which is why my faith in this country and never been stronger. but listening is the key. lawmakers must listen to those around them as one american to another, as neighbors who have shared values without assuming that any difference of opinion is evidence of greed, ignorance or malice. i was fortunate. i learned that lesson early. maybe it was because i was the only female republican in my
freshman class here, but all my colleagues, chairmen and ranking members seemed eager to come and say hello, to welcome me with a smile and gave me advice. it allowed me to serve my constituents better. my hope is that the incoming class of lawmakers follow the similar path, they come to washington ready to learn from those around them and benefit from the diversity of backgrounds and experiences that can be found here in the capitol. because we face great challenges, the economy, immigration, the debt, social security and medicare on these items and more we must find the answers soon if we hope to keep our country on a path to prosperity. and those solutions will only materialize if the members of congress take a chance, work together and care more about
results than sound bites or the next election. equally important they must, must be willing to take a walk a few hundred feet to the other side of the rotunda. the house and the senate are two sides of the same coin and yet they have never seemed further apart. my proudest moments as a member of congress have all been the result of collaborations. my work to keep homeless kids in school, bar genetic discrimination or reform the nation's flood insurance program were all signed into law after extensive personal conversations with members of the upper chamber. we have great leaders here in the house, but they alone cannot maintain communications between the two greatest deliberative bodies in the world. it's up to all of us, and will
be to all of you. so mr. speaker, my advice is to work together across the aisle and across the capitol. i urge my colleagues to stay close to their voters and true to their principles but never let compromise become a dirty word. thanks what our constituents want, that's -- that's what our constituents want, that's what america needs and that's what's been made the last four years, the source of great joy in my life. none of which, i should add, would have been possible without my wonderful staff. before i close, i must give thanks to these individuals who have been with me for months or years and who have never let down the constituents in the 13th district of illinois. from passing bills, my staff has taken every challenge in stride, brought out the best in me and did it all without ever
seeking recognition, praise or raise. i also want to thank the great committee staff at financial services, the education and the work force and science, space and technology as well as the team of ethics with whom i worked for several years. and thank you to the unappreciated staff here on the house floor who always keeps the debate moving forward. most of all, i'd like to thank kathy lyden, the best chief of staff and friend that a member of congress ever asked for. without her i would not be here and without her i would not have been able to assemble one of the smartest and most capable staff in washington. . thank you to my colleagues, my staff, my friends, my family, my supporters, and even my critics who have helped me to grow, to learn, and to serve the people of illinois. i have always viewed public
service as a privilege not a career, and you have all made this the finest privilege of my life. with that i would yield to -- i would yield. mr. hoyer:00 that i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i was in the cloakroom, obviously, having some lunch. i heard the lady's comments. most of us, a lot of us went around this country listening to people as well as speaking on behalf of our respective candidacies and parties. what i heard around america was that they want people to sit down together and try to solve the problems that confront america's families, america's workers. i want to say to the gentlelady from illinois my experience with her throughout her career has been that she's one of those types of people. i want to thank her. i want to thank her for her decency. i want to thank her for her hard
work. i want to thank her for her commitment to country first. it's been a privilege to serve with you, judy, and i look forward to being your friend for many years to come. i wish you great success in the future. i wanted to say that because too often we -- the public sees us confronting one another and sometimes being angry with one another. but you and i have had the opportunity to work together and i know the good heart that you have and the openness you have displayed. i thank you for that. mrs. biggert: i thank you, the minority whip, so much for those comments. that really is very kind of you. i appreciate it. i yield to the gentleman from colorado. mr. perfect mutt ir: i want to echo --
mr. perlmutter: i want to echo mr. hoyer's comments. we have worked together on legislation that i was proposing and that you were proposing, and working with you was always a pleasure and an honor and just appreciate the knowledge that you would bring to all of these different discussions and the fact that you were willing to work with me in such a -- in such a fashion that helped bring me along as a member of congress. i think definitely brought legislation to the country that was of value. i just want to thank the lady from illinois. mrs. biggert: i thank the gentleman from. now i'd like to yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. todd plats, who is also retiring -- platts, who is also retiring. mr. platts: i thank the gentlelady. before commenting on my own retirement i want to echo the gentleman from colorado, maryland, mr. perlmutter and mr.
hoyer, in their right on point remarks, judy, about you and your service. we have sat together for the last 12 years on the ed committee, working on education issues, children's issues. you have been such a great leader on homeless children and the importance of us doing right by them in the education arena, even though they were homeless. and maybe all the more important we do right by them. when we hear the term statesman or public servant, you epitomize both. it's been a great privilege to be with you. as i think back to arriving here 12 years ago, one, it's hard to believe it's been 12 years since first coming here. and my decision about a year ago, january of this year, to step down was not an easy one, but it's one that i thought was the right decision for me. i have always been one who believed in 12-year term limits and thought i've got to live what i preach as a servant,
public official. but maybe most importantly as a dad that i needed to set a good example for my sons, tom and t.j., that they saw me living up to my work. and that my actions backed up my words. it wasn't easy to desid to leave this chamber i believe it was the right one. it's been such a privilege to represent the people of pennsylvania's 19th congressional district. adams, couplerland, and york counties, gettysburg, carlyle, york, the county seats and three counties in my district. the fact that 12 years ago the citizens of this district said, todd, we trust you to represent our interest in washington and to allow me to return for five more terms after that first one has been pretty remarkable. it really speaks volumes to me about what a truly land of opportunity we are. as a kid growing up, i would be given this opportunity -- only
happens in america. and i'm -- i have wanted to do this since i was 14, and i have often been asked what made you want to serve in congress such an early age? i point first to my mom and dad, just average citizens, middle class family, dad was a mechanical engineer, mom was a stay at home mom, park director, a lot of odd jobs that part-time to make sure she could be hands on with all five of us kids. they were not active politically other than always voting and taking us with them to vote when they would go. but they were so active in the community. they were community servants. teaching sunday school, coaching little league baseball. i had the privilege to coach my sons for about 10 years on the same fields that my dad coached three of us platte -- platts sons. mom running the school candy sales. they gave all five of us children, i'm the fourth of the five, a wonderful example to follow that if you want to live in a great nation and community,
you need to do your part. you need to be engaged and be involved. they gave an example of service and it was my eighth grade social studies teacher, by the name of earl, who passed away just shy of two years ago, who encouraged that -- taking that community service example of my parents and to make it a public service career. as i left eighth grade and his class, and got ready to enter high school, i joined the teenage republicans as a nine grader and volunteered on my first campaign, it was jerry ford running for re-election for united states senate. and bill goodling for his first election to represent pennsylvania. 24 years later after volunteering for mr. goodling as a ninth grader, that's who i seceded when he retired after 26 years here in the people's house, i had the privilege to secede him -- succeed him. i have known since then this is what i wanted to do. i thank the citizens of the
district for allowing me this privilege and for giving me their trust. and certainly could not have served the citizens back home without a tremendous staff in the district as well as here in washington. i have been blessed with just true public servants and when we would -- i never asked what their party registration was or anything about their politics other than, do you want -- why do you want to serve? and why do you want to serve in the 19th district in particular? so to all my staff, my personal staff, and the district down here over the last 12 years and the committee staff i have had the privilege to chair a subcommittee op oversight and government reform -- on oversight and government reform, and been blessed with a great staff there as well. the one thing i'd emphasize is we call this the people's house. and i look at it that way for a number of reasons. one, the only way you get here is if you are elected. you can be senator, vice president, president, and never be elected to those positions. jerry ford never elected, vice
president, president served in both houses, you can serve in the senate. here if there is a vacancy, you have to wait until the people decide. we are the people's house. also because we are a great representation of the people of this great country. in the approach i got here it was because of the people of the 19th district. when i leave it's my understanding that i'm the last member of the house or senate other than a couple self-funders who relies solely on individual contributions. no special interest money, no p.a.c. contribute shubs. -- contributions. i never had any paid television commercial. i never had a paid pollster in any campaign. it's been about volunteers going door to door with me, spreading the word. and i think back to that first campaign 12 years ago when over 500 volunteers came out in one day and stuffed 115,000 people -- 115,000 pieces of mailing for me, and not only did they come and volunteer an spend about 10
hours that day doing that work for us, but they also brought their own food and fed themselves because we were a low budget campaign then and now. we didn't have money to buy them food. it was like a church supper. everybody bring a dish and we'll have food, get some good work done. but the people of the 19th district is what allowed me to come here. that first campaign i was outspent five to one, three to one, two to one because of the people i have been allowed to serve here for the last 12 years. and i will be forever grateful for that. before i wrap up i'd be very remiss if i didn't recognize my family. my wife will celebrate -- we celebrated 2 years of marriage this past july. i have been in office for 20 of those. eight in the statehouse. 12 here. and this is our first even year election year in 22 years where we weren't campaigning going door to door. i certainly would not be standing here as a million of the united states house of representatives but for her great love and support over all these years, along with our sons
t.j. and tom and my extended family. mom and dad, dad passed away my first year here in congress, but my brothers and sisters, and my sons who have made so many sacrifices while i have been allowed to serve in this position from a time standpoint of being away and missing ballgames here and there. because of their support and that love and support of my family and support and trust of my constituents, i have been allowed this great privilege. i'll leave here with a heavy heart because i'm still passionate about what we do. i'll leave here with great friends on both sides of the aisle. republican, democrats from all corners of this great country, it's been such a privilege to serve with these true public servants. i'm going to share one final story that kind of captures what i think is great about our country, the fact i have been allowed to serve here. when my dad passed away my first year in congress, june 25, 2001,
just about a month earlier had the privilege of introducing my parents to president bush for the first time. the last picture of my dad before his passing is a picture of my mom and dad with me and president bush. taken up on the edge of my district in pennsylvania. dad passes away, i get a note from the president expressing his sympathies having just met my dad, but about a week after his funeral, president bush was here in the capitol with us in caucus, and meeting with all the republican, house republicans, when it was over we scattered and went back to our offices, wherever it may be. as i'm leaving the capitol building to go back to the longworth building i hear applause in the rotunda. this is pre-9/11. the president is going down a rope line shaking hands with all the visitors to the capitol that day. moms, dads, kids are getting to meet the president of the united states by good timing of being in the capitol. i'm standing at the house side of the rotunda with our then sergeant at arms and the president stops and said hello to bill.
hello to me. and invited me to walk out to the motorcade with him. and the subject of the conversation was the passing of my dad. and how he dreads the thought of someday losing his dad and thankfully president bush 41, 88 and i know in the hospital right now but hopefully still going strong. it was amazing conversation. one president bush, a new president, showing concern for a freshman house member and my family and how my mom and i were doing with the loss of my dad, mom's husband, but it also spoke volumes about what an amazing country in which we live. my dad was one of nine kids who grew up in a rural house during the depression. five boys, four girls. five boys in one bedroom, four girls in the second. grandma and grandpa in the third. the fact that his passing was the subject of a conversation between the president of the united states and a congressman who happened to be his son speaks volumes about us being
truly a land of opportunity. that this kid from a typical middle class family has been allowed to serve here for 12 years is amazing about what we stand for. that if you are willing to work hard and follow your dreams they can come true. and so to the people of the 19th district of pennsylvania, i say thank you for allowing this now 50-year-old dream come true many years ago, as state representative, and then ultmatically as united states congressman, i will be forever grateful. would tell you that while i'm a proud republican, most importantly every time i enter the chamber i came into this chamber as our men and women in uniform do every day on the frontlines of democratcy, as a proud american first and foremost. i think they gave us the example and that's my final comment, to all those out there who are defending the freedoms we have and the blessings we have such
as todd platts, me being allowed to serve in congress, i say thank you to those men and women, to their families, godspeed as they continue to defend us and all that's great about this great nation. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mrs. biggert: i just would like to say how we have worked together and i really appreciate all that you have done, and what's different is that you have the family and that is the hardest thing to have, the kids and a wife, but to have the kids that you're always worried about, you always want to be to their games. i know you were always rushing around to do that and driving home and appreciate that. . i have four children. my husband and i celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary, which i can't believe. time flies when you're having fun. mr. platts: congratulations. mrs. biggert: but my children, we raised them i think well.
they became very -- we raised them to be independent. we didn't think they would do -- be so independent. one lives in london with her husband and three children. one lives in los angeles with her husband and three children. one lives in bethesda with her three children. and our son lives in new york city. great places to visit. but you don't really have time i think when you're here as much. but to have the family that's there all the time, it's wonderful but it's -- mr. platts: it's one of the blessings, judy, i've been allowed -- because of my district, about 100 miles each way, in my 12 years serving here, while i've been honored to work here, i've been blessed to live at home all but maybe 13 nights i couldn't go back home. but being able to go home to my wife and children, being there every day kept me grounded. it's one of the sacrifices you a know and the colleagues and families of members make a tremendous -- i'm the exception. i'm the only pennsylvanian,
couple of marylanders and virginians. they have to be away all week or relocate their family here. it's a tremendous family commitment. you're right. my kids, when i walk in the door, they don't care if i was meeting with the president of the united states, dad, get rid of the coat and tie. we're late for practice. let's go. kids do a good job keeping our priorities straight. mrs. biggert: i also thank you for the experiences we've had working together on the education committee and being the bermuda triangle that we always laugh about sitting on our side with tom osborne. we made a nice triangle to put things like vouchers in there. mr. platts: public education, and one of our colleagues who was chair of our committee as well. mrs. biggert: so thank you. >> will the gentlewoman yield? mrs. biggert: yes. >> i want to thank the gentlewoman yielding. i want to thank judy and todd from pennsylvania. thank you so much for your
service in the congress and i've known you as members of the education and labor committee and i can't thank you enough. i've known you when i was in the minority, i knew you when i was chairman, i've known you when i was ranking minority member but you've always been willing to discuss the issues with us. mr. miller: you've always been willing to make suggestions. we haven't always agreed. we've agreed a lot on these issues of child nutrition and school reform and out of home children and where do they go from the schooling and support systems they need to be successful in our education system. i just can't tell you how much i appreciate your service and thank you. i thank you for that. todd reminds us and i listen talking about your families. there's no great way to do this job with your family because the family is the shock absorber for our schedules and everything else. but you obviously have done a pretty darn -- done it pretty darn well. i just want to thank you for
your service to the country and to the congress and the people you represented so terribly well. mrs. biggert: really appreciate that. you were chairman, ranking member. i think education is where it all starts and it's the most important committee. thank you. >> if the gentlelady will yield to me one more time? mrs. biggert: yes. mr. lamborn: the word that comes to me sitting here and has always struck me is respect. you both have respect on both sides of the aisle. you listen, you work -- -- mr. perlmutter: you listen. you work. i want to thank you for your service to the nation. it's been an honor to serve with both of you. i want to say to my friend, mr. platts, he introduced me to about half a dozen military installations in the far east on the fastest moving trip i have ever been on and that was a year and a half ago and i'm still tired from how quickly and how much energy he put into
this trip to expos me to -- expose me to the needs of our troops throughout the far east and, again, your respect on both sides of the aisle is well-known. your energy is well-known and thank you for your service. mrs. biggert: i appreciate that. thank you. >> if the gentlelady will yield? it's been a great privilege to serve and to travel. mr. platts: when we were visiting special forces in the philippine islands, this past september i was at my local fair in york, pennsylvania, and i ran into one of those special forces who was from my district whom we met who was getting ready to go back to school but we were reminiscing our trip to him and visiting his special operators on that trip. i wish you great success as you continue to serve the state of colorado with great fashion. mr. perlmutter: thank you.
mr. platts: i yield back to the gentlelady and thank her again for the time she's allowed me here today. mrs. biggert: the gentleman yields back. thank you. mr. platts: thank you. mrs. biggert: i yield one minute to mr. yoder. mr. yoder: i thank the gentlelady from illinois for yielding a minute. mr. speaker, i rise today to salute the legacy and service and dedication to my friend, kansas speaker of the house, michael o'neill. mike has decided to retire from public service. he leaves behind a history of courageous leadership and making smart public policy on behalf of all kansans. mike spent his career in the kansas house notably chairing the judiciary committee and the education committee before eventually being elected by his colleagues twice to the kansas speaker of the house. while mike's career in the
people's house in kansas will be remembered for his many notable legislative achievements, his most prominent legacy may be the many wonderful friendships and relationships he built along the way. many consider mike a mentor and true friend, someone you can always count on, a rare quality in politics today. so as the gavel falls one more time and mike closes this chapter of service on behalf of so many appreciative kansans, i want to thank him for his tireless efforts to kansas. thank you. mrs. biggert: so i -- we have no other members who are here so i'd like to say again thanks so much to my colleagues. particularly my family for all that they have -- they have been with me for all these 14 years and have arrived after the start of the 14 years.
to my friends and my supporters who have helped me really to grow and to learn and to serve the people of illinois. it's been a real honor and privilege. public service is something that you -- such a privilege and honor and i think this has been the greatest privilege of my life to have been a member of the u.s. house of representatives. and with that i would yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm keith ellisson here to claim time and i have some posters to set up. i will take a moment to do that.
my name is keith ellison, chair of the progressive caucus, along with mr. grijalva. i want to come before the body today with the progressive message. the progressive message is a message that the progressive caucus shares with people. the progressive message is very simple. it's a basic idea that america, this great land of ours, is big enough for everybody, has enough abundance for everybody and we have the natural resources which should be respected and we should live in harmony and promote a green economy and should have civil and human rights for all people. the progressive message we say that we should promote dialogue and diplomacy before we ever find ourselves in military conflicts. the progressive message is about an inclusive america. all colors, all cultures, all faiths. and an america that says if you
-- if you live in this country and you want to work hard, the economy should be robust and broad enough and fair enough for you to make a good run in this economy. if you work 40 hours a week, you should be able to feed your family. shouldn't have to resort to public assistance. it's talking about having to stand up for the rights of labor, the rights of working men and women. the right to be able to be paid fairly. the right to be able to go to the doctor. the right to be able to look forward to a decent, fair retirement. the right to be able to see that your children will be able to get a good education that can see them through. in other words, the progressive message is the message of an inclusive america that makes sure that our economic and our environmental lives are strong, healthy and affirming. and we contrast this with another vision, a vision of a divided america where not everybody counts and not everybody matters, an america in which labor and management
are fighting and there's no peace, an america where there's not full inclusion of lgbt americans or americans who are trying to join america through immigration or not fully inclusive america. an america in which women have to worry about their ability to seek out contraception or seek out equal pay for equal work. this is the america that we don't embrace. the america we embrace says -- embraces equality, inclusion and opportunity. now, where are we today? we are in the middle of a national conversation, which is playing itself out right here in congress, that has to do with the so-called fiscal cliff. i'm not going to use that term any more because we're actually not on a cliff. what we are on is a set of important deadlines that we should meet and we should work at, but this imagery of a cliff
of falling over something and plummeting downward is false and we should stop using this analogy. i know the press likes it because it adds drama, and, of course, the press thrives on drama, but in truth there are some important deadlines we should meet but that we should not surrender our deeply held views simply to get any deal done. any deal done, the deal we should do should be a fair deal. it should be a deal for all. it should be a deal that meets our most important priorities, but it should not be some force-fed thing that we accept simply because we fear going over this cliff that really doesn't exist. you could refer to it as a set of deadlines, that's the best way to put it. that's what it actually is. if you don't meet a deadline, yes, of course, there are consequences not meeting
deadlines and you want to avoid them. but at the same time, this idea that we are -- we got to put up with any -- put up with anything that the other side may offer because we're facing a cliff is a concept that i reject and i hope the american people reject, mr. speaker, because that's not really what's going on. we have a set of deadlines that we should meet, and everybody in this body should work earnestly, sincerely and in good faith to compromise but in terms of just accepting some bad deal just to get a deal done because of a crisis, we shouldn't buy into that line of thinking. now, what are these deadlines? well, we know that the bush tax cuts are expiring. they'll expire for everyone, not just the top 2%. this is not something we want the american middle class to get hit with a tax increase at this time, but we do believe the wealthiest among us should pay more. and we think that the top 2%
should pay a higher tax rate on the money they make after $250,000 a year. we also believe that there's more that can be done, closing loopholes. people say, let's talk about that. . we see the bush era tax cuts expiring for everybody. we see the production tax credit expiring which is something important for work in the wind industry and the area of industry that promotes environmental matters. we also see the expiration of things like the estate tax, the s.g.r., which is the doctors fix for medicare. and we also see the sequestration which is the
outcome, time outcome of the budget control act that we passed in august, 2011, which is now coming due, and there will be equal defense and discretionary spending cuts on both sides which will be -- which will inflict damage. so all these things are happening at the same time and so the question is going to be asked, how will this budget entanglement be resolved? will it be resolved on the backs of the people that can least afford it? or will the people that can best afford it be asked to help out? it's within this context, mr. speaker, i come before with the progressive message today to bring some clarity to folks listening to the -- c-span today about what the real issues are, what we have to avoid, and what we have to fight for. i submit, mr. speaker, that this
deal that is being considered right now by the u.s. congress and the american people and of course the president is still something that is subject to being changed and altered depending upon how vigorously people are willing to advocate for what is right. i want to talk about that today. i want to -- fiscal cliff, the last time i use that term, because it's not that, but there are serious fiscal issues we should address. i want to talk about a few things we should not be discussing and don't need to talk about and one is social security. social security does not contribute to the deficit. it's not expiring. there's no reason we have to deal with social security right now. it is one of those things that some people who never liked social security, by the way, called it socialism even, want a
change and has been wanting to change for decades, so they create this imagery of crisis coming at the end of the year, then what they are trying to do is say, well, we got to change social security because of the so-called fiscal cliff, although it's not really a cliff. so this is something that really shouldn't be on the table. i want to encourage folks to really discuss and get the facts, mr. speaker, because social security is solvent through 2037. doesn't need to be fixed -- does it need to be fixed? yeah. it is true that there is slightly more money going out than coming in, but when you look at all the money that is owed to social security and you have the interest payments that are being made on it, it more than pays for itself for now. there are some things that could be done into the future that's not an emergency. it doesn't have to be done this second. and social security is probably more solvent than a whole bunch
of businesses and agencies of government to try to throw social security into the mix at this time is a big mistake and i believe, mr. speaker, it's being done because people who have been wanting to change if for decades and decades and decades want to create the idea of a crisis and then use that crisis to get members to vote for something that is not well considered. i insist on any changes to social security being well considered. i insist there be a fully fledged debate on social security, not this fiscal mess that we are working through right now, but let social security be considered on its own freestanding basis and if changes need to be made, we make them, but just to sort of argue that in order to solve this fiscal crisis that we are facing with these ending deadlines, these expiring deadlines, because of that we got to deal with social security. mr. speaker, i think the american people should reject that idea. i have brought this issue to
people who say, what are we going to do about social security? i said, well, we are going to continue to have social security. we got to change it. we have the fiscal crisis that's coming up. no, we don't. it doesn't add to the deficit. in fact, it needs to be -- if any change needs to be made to it, it needs to be on the own freestanding. social security is one of the greatest programs this country has ever produced. it helps literally millions and millions of senior citizens and people on disability and people who receive survivor benefits and it's a great program and we should continue to support that program. we don't need to mess with it. when we do want to reform it, it needs to be something that will preserve benefits for people. and allows the program to continue. it's a solid program and it doesn't need to be in these budget entanglements. i hope americans really get the fact -- some people say, well,
ok, you're right social security doesn't add to the deficit. let's talk about it anyway. let's talk about it for a minute anyway even though it shouldn't be considered. here's what could be said, mr. speaker, by someone who wants to defend the excellent program known as social security. they might say shouldn't we raise the retirement age? again it's an irrelevant conversation to this problem, but if they want to go down that road, you could tell them, look, we don't need to raise the retirement age because firstly, people who are running jack hammers or on their feet for their whole working life, nurse, firefighters, people who use their bodies to earn a living, it's just not fair to them when you say we are going to raise retirement age. if you have been a nurse, picking up patients and walking, walking, walking for 30, 40 years now all of a sudden they tell you, you used to be able to retire at 5 but we are going to move it to 70, that's not fair
to them. and if you're just a white collar worker that might be a little different, but the truth is it's going to be a big rule that everybody has to abide by. here's another reason, the more important reason why messing with social security that way is the wrong thing to do. as you know, mr. speaker, over the last number of years we have seen our 401-k's go to 201-k's. we have seen american savings rates go down. we used to talk about a three legged stool when it came to retirement. one, social security. two, the money you save yourself. three, the money you get from your job. the money that we get from our jobs, we have seen pensions, guaranteed pensions become almost a thing of the past. some people still have them. god bless them. but most workers are now having to build the risk of their own
retirement through a 401-k plan. if the market has been down, as it has been, people's retirement savings, at least 1/3 of what they were counting on is diminished in a very significant way. the other thing, private savings has gone down. a few years ago before the fiscal -- financial crisis hit in 2006, we had a savings rate of negative 2%. which meant people were not saving. so here we are when we are having one of the largest age cohorts in american history moving into their golden years, when they are expected to retire their 401-k is a 201-k, and their pension from their own personal savings has govern down. and now we are going to tell them, now with social security you can't count on that anymore. this is a problem. we have a problem with retirement in america today. people aren't ready for it.
and this is -- this is the wrong time to take that one solid leg on that what we used to cool three-legged stool and start august on it and making it less strong than it was before. the fact is raising the retirement age means lessening benefits for people, people who need it, many of them who have been working hard at jobs all their lives, and it's wrong to do. as i said before, mr. speaker, as we talk about this fiscal entanglement, expiring deadlines we are coming up on right now, social security shouldn't be part of the conversation. anybody who brings up social security in this conversation ought to be asked why they are bringing up things that are irrelevant to resolving these expiring deadlines that are coming up between now and the end of the year. why do they want to bring up stuff that doesn't have to do with these expiring deadlines? why it doesn't have to do with
sequestration and it doesn't have to do with the 2001, 2003 tax cuts that are expiring, then what are we discussing it for? it's a distraction from what we should be devoting our time to. now, mr. speaker, you are also going to have people who like to use this term nimet. i -- entitlement. i resent the term entitlement. entitlement suggests this is something we are giving to you. no, this is an earned benefit, social security. it should not be referred to as entitlement. we hope the people, mr. speaker, begin to defend social security and say, don't call my social security entitlement. i work my whole life for this and i'm not about it just say that it's some sort of entitlement, some sort of thing that somebody's handing to he me. and i just want to say -- i just want to say that i'm -- i think, mr. speaker, people need to
defend social security. they need to stand up for it. they need to explain that it's not part of this fiscal mess that we are in. it's not part of the expiring deadlines that we are seeing happening right now. and we should -- we should not deal with it here. they should defend it by saying that people's retirement securing is significantly diminished over the last number of years and now is not the time to start cutting benefits to social security and more than that, we should make it clear that social security is the best program, perhaps one of the best programs our government has ever come up with. we are going to get more into the expiring deadlines that we see coming up in the next few weeks. before i say another word, mr. speaker, i want to yield to my good friend from the great state of texas, sheila jackson lee, stalwart member of the progressive caucus, totally reliable and can be counted on
to stand up for the american working people. i yield to the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished gentleman. and of course who could help but listen to a very potent message and we are better for the fact that you and the distinguished gentleman from arizona have come together again to, i call it standing in the gap. and reinforcing to individuals who have never walked these halls. the thing that i want to just reinforce very briefly is how much all of us who have the privilege of walking these august halls, sometimes on occasion looking at these or nate murals and recognizing the -- ornate murals and recognizing the history of this body, the largest democracy, the longest democracy, extending democracy
in the world. that is the united states of america. and for this place called the house of representatives, this honored place to be called the people's house, is for the very reason that we are the defenders, we are those who will stand in the gap. we will be there when others cannot and when others' voice can not be heard. so let me give you a picture of america, because for some reason if we are not tied to the latest social media, or maybe to our favorite cable stations, we can't imagine what happens across america from california to new york, from the furthest state going to the north, to our southern friends. including the great state of texas. every morning, every morning some family, some single mother, some single dad, some mother and father rise at 4 or 5 or 6:00 in
the morning and on some tables there may be more than one would expect for breakfast, on some tables there is no breakfast. they rush to prepare for the day's work. they rush sometimes to get their children to schools that are far beyond bus stops. and the reason why i say that is, many school districts have even cut out school buses. so that means that these hardworking americans have to rush and get their children to school. and they go off to jobs that are eight, 10, 12 hours long. where they work all day. maybe they had someone, a grandmother or someone, pick up the child, maybe they did not. and therefore they have to either have extended public care or wind up picking up those children, but what i will say to you is that they toil and work every day. so this fiscal deadline, deadline is very serious to the
progressive caucus and those of us who really believe that we would not be the patriots that we claim to be if we did not recognize the millions of americans with great humor people were making jokes to the gentleman from minnesota, about the power ball last night and how many people tried to sign up for it. not out of greed when they interviewed people they were talking about charity, friends, and helping momma get a better house and themselves get a better house. something was said in our discussions today that the people are trying to get into the middle class are the ones that we should be able to say to them, your desires, the service you have given to your country, the work you do when you get up -- some are park attendants, some of them are working in bus barns. they may not even be bus drivers or they may not be conductors,
they may be working around, they may be working in the great work that we could not survive, we call department of sanitation, the same group of men at that time that martin king went to memphis for. . what the like when people get up and go to work, they don't have time to do social media. they don't know when we are in negotiations about the fiscal deadline, but they're hoping someone is here standing here, and social security is earned. it is earned by these people, whether they're in coal mines, as i said, whether they're sweeping streets, whether they are children who are disabled, whether they're children of the deceased the only thing that kept them going or keeping them go is the social security death benefit that they got from the deceased parent. so it is important as we look to what we will be doing we
understand that it's not only in this place that we speak of, and as we speak of the hardworking middle class, we must put into the mix those individuals that keep the lights on, those individuals that keep the streets clean, those individuals that are assisting those who are at home, our nurses, attendants, aides, those who are working in daycare centers, those person when a fire in my district burns down a daycare center or something occurs, then you can be assured that there are workers who cannot work. let me clear, since there was a tragedy in my community, i was not speaking of that specific tragedy. i'm talking about if something stops you from working, something happens to your business, they are unemployed. this brings me back to a couple
of points and then i'll yield to the distinguished gentleman. it's important we maintain the extension of unemployment because i feel a surge in this economy. things are getting better. we had some thanksgiving sales day people went out thanksgiving day. then we had black friday. people said things are on the move. the country churns if you keep the important safety nets of medicare, medicaid, social security. and that must be what we do. and then to add unemployment, unemployment insurance. always have to say over and over again the word insurance means you've gotten some insurance to get you on a rainy day. it's not a handout. it's a handup. but it is insurance and you've earned it because you worked and you're now unemployed. and you're looking for work. and so the unemployment insurance is to be something that we need to count as a safety net and one that is of
great need. let me finish by trying to again re-emphasize the importance of bipartisanship and progressives are those who recognize what a great country this is and we're progressive by the nature of some of the issues that we support but we do not have a wall in front of our face and we don't believe in bipartisanship. we have been joined with some of our colleagues to make a difference for america. and i truly believe that every set of policies have maybe relevancy as their path and some policies -- and i'm going to add the 1964 civil rights act and 1964 voting rights act -- but when you come to fiscal poy is i because as the economy churns and goes in cycles, sometimes we're up and sometimes we're down. tax cuts of the 1990's and
earlier in the 1990's with president bush, before president clinton, and then thereafter with president bush who came after president clinton, sometimes economic policies say it's time for a rest. and those tax cuts, the top 1% and 2%, it is time for rest. and to be able to shore up, to say to every american that you will get a tax cut for $250,000 of your income which includes 97% of small businesses is a reasoned response to the changing economy and the protection of the safety net is a reasoned response to the changing economy and the recognition of the importance of social security, the recognition of the importance of medicare, medicaid and the recognition of the importance, if you're unemployed, extending the unemployment responds to the people who don't get their
news on a regular streaming basis, they don't know what's going on up here. they're counting on us to stand in the gap and to make a difference in their life. some of them are working. some are on assistance, but they're not defined by anything that they are americans who love their country. and i hope as we go in threen we have the privilege of being -- 2013 we have the privilege of being sworn in again, we look at wealth tax, we look at issues that address equalizing the impoverished in this nation, most of them children. we're not there yet, but i think we would be an even greater country, we are the greatest country in the world, if we recognize there is value to lifting all boats. that there is value to saying that you are on hard rubble times, and this great country
wants to lift the boat so that any children you are raising has the equal opportunity to achieve their greatest. so to the gentleman from minnesota and the co-chair of the progressive caucus, let me thank you for your wisdom and your sense of i think the characterization that i've heard you characterize in many different instances and the characterization that i've made today. we have an obligation to the people whose daily life is simple low about trying to make it to the next day. and i hope this congress and i hope this process of negotiation and media debate and discussion doesn't ignore the fact that sometimes you've got to make sure that you respond to those who are now busyly filling in those 12 hours of work and the only thing they're looking forward to is whether or not they'll have enough to have dinner at home and pick up the children
and get ready for the next day. as american, many of whom they have served their nation, i feel an obligation to make sure that we stand in the gap on their behalf. i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank the gentleman for his leadership. mr. ellison: yeah. i thank the gentlelady for joining me. if you have time we'd love to hear more from you. let me say today, you know, we're members of the progressive caucus talking about the deal for all. first of all, laying out some of our values, and then -- but also talking about some things that are really problems in this debate. you know, i mentioned before, and you mentioned as well social security is not contributing to the deficit. social security is solvent through 2037. social security may need attention, but to try to fix it in the mix of this debate is not the right thing.
again, i'm speaking only for myself. people who are demanding that we reform social security right now are people who want us to spend attention on something that is other than the problem, and then i have to wonder why that is. and does it have something to do when franklin delano roosevelt who signed the legislation, there's someone that didn't like it. why? they don't think the proper role of government is to have a program administered through the government that looks out for the aged, the disabled, the vulnerable. they don't think the government should do that. they think it's all about 100% about individual initiative and they don't believe the government has a role or responsibility to administrator a program that makes sure that the aged and the sick and those who are the children of those people who may have died should have some basic subis he
assistance. we disagree -- substenance. we disagree. there is something known as the shock doctrine. naomi kline wrote an interesting book. her book is, sometimes, you have folks who will create a crisis. they want there to be a crisis because within the context of the crisis, the parties do the bargaining will be willing to do things in the absence of a crisis they would never agree to. and so i believe that these deadlines, these expiring deadlines, they don't have to be a crisis but they've been created to be one. we use words that evoke imagery of crisis, and that's why we now talk about this thing rather than what it really is, expiring deadlines. ms. jackson lee: the congressional budget office even indicated that there's no such thing as a cliff. there will be expiring deadlines that will allow
deliberate tif thought. that's what you're talking about. let's have deliberate tif -- deliberative thought. when you are running out of a burning building, you will find any water hose you can find. i want to mention something my colleague, my late colleague, micky leyland. this is his birthday, november 26. i just wanted to mention this on the floor of the house. if anyone knows the history of micky leyland, he served in the late 1970's and died in 1989 in ethiopia trying to feed the starving ethiopians. he co-chaired the hunger select committee because at that time frame, there was an effort to try to extinguish hunger in america and hunger in the world. and lo and behold, here we are in 2012, and i bet we can have
a vigorous debate on hunger that still exists in this country. what i say that to say, as i yield back to the gentleman, when we put our hair on fire, then we start looking and digging deep. we start ignoring the peace dividend and resources that we can get from that from an expedited withdrawal from our friends from our distinguished or hardworking military that are in faraway places such as afghanistan, but then the point is then we begin to do things like look at the minimal assistance that people get in order to survive. social security is a different line of funding, but as you well know, i mentioned sometimes you get it on disability and sometimes you get social security as a death benefit for a deceased parent that keeps those children going. and then you have people who get payments because they are ill or have no way of working or have children, called
assistance, and people start looking at that. and so we need to be deliberative in our attempt to do the things that we want to do in a bipartisan way, which is reduce the deficit, to make sure we tighten our belts and act accordingly to churn this economy and we are fair in our tax policies. my friends, we can do all that, but let us not do that with hysteria that starts looking at the basic safety net of medicare, medicaid and social security, as my friend said, 2037, medicare is 2024. and this house doesn't have to be on fire. you don't need to get a skinny hose that just drips, drips, drips and then you just burn up. we can deal with this immediate fiscal issue of deadlines and tax issues and begin to build on what the revenues will be. mr. ellison: if i could -- ms. jackson lee: be happy to yield back to the gentleman. mr. ellison: the gentlelady talks about medicare because in this whole fiscal situation
they talk about social security and medicare. entitlement reform is what they want so bad. again, we've already clearly shown social security has no place in this debate. but let's talk about medicare for a moment. in the affordable care act, so-called obamacare, which i used to not want to call it that but now i do. obama does care. he calls it obamacare because the republicans thought they could use it as an insult but it's actually a badge of honor. the affordable care act is estimated already with the bill we passed is estimated to save about $500 billion over the next 10 years. ms. jackson lee: that's right. mr. ellison: they say we only got to reform medicare. you know, there may be reforms to medicare that are important to do, but we already started that process with the affordable care act by reducing extra subsidies paid to medicare advantage plans. they said they were going to do it for cheaper. they did it for more.
now we're saying, we are going to hold you to your word. and we used that -- closed the doughnut hole. also, reductions in the rate of growth and provider payments and efforts to make sure that medicare programs were more efficient and to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. so medicare will be reformed as we reform health care. as we move away from this fee for service, thch for this test, much for that test, they run a bunch of tests and you get a huge bill. we're moving from that model to a model that goes on, are you improving the health of your patients? there's a lot of doctors these days where they have the doctors on salary, like the mayo clinic in minnesota, so the doctors don't have to werery about tes. the doctors order the tests you
need, not the ones you don't. my point is, we are already implementing ways to maintain and control costs in medicare that do not deprive seniors of good medical care. that's the key. medicare, i'm sorry, it's going to cost more in the future because we have a lot of people born between 1945 and 1960 who are now getting into older years and everybody knows that if you -- as you get older, you may need to go to the doctor more. we have more folks in that age group. that's the way it is. it does make stones try to control costs. but to say we've got to do some, that the proposals have been to give senior askew upon that the congressional budget office admits is going to cost them $6,000 a year more than it does now.
and to give medicaid a block grant program which we know will likely be reduced. what's the point? they keep saying entitlement reform, entitlement reform. social security is fine for now and will be into the future with just a few tweaks that will not hurt beneficiaries. medicare, we are reforming it and making it more solvent. we literally extended the life of the program up through 2024, republicans during the campaign attacked president obama for this. and yet we extended the life of the program and then -- and so this -- the entire reform if entitlement reform were wrapped up in the expiring deadlines and sequestration, i would say, yeah, we have to talk about that now. but it isn't. so why are we doing that? people never liked the program and don't believe the proper role of government is to help
people. so we just disagree, i wish folks would be a little more transparent in the positions they take system of now let's talk about the deal. let's talk about the deal. i've been very fortunate to be joined by the gentlelady from illinois, january schakowsky. as she's getting situated, i'll recognize the gentlelady as soon as she's ready -- she's ready now. let me yield to the gentlelady from illinois, january -- jan schakowsky. ms. schakowsky: i want to thank you so much, congressman ellison, for pulling this together. we are in the midst of an incredibly important debate about how we deal with all these fiscal issues and mainly to me it's about who shall pay. not what are the dollar figures and how do we take a little bit from this and that. but who exactly in our society
is going to be responsible? and i want to focus on the entitlements. because you would think, listening to some of the people who call for the cutting of entitlements, in addition to some of our republican colleagues, i'm talking mainly about the c.e.o.'s now the fix the debt group that says that quite piously, by the way, and self-righteously, that we have to cut the entitlements. but listening to them, you would think that the united states of america is poorer today than it was 50 years ago when medicare and medicaid became part of our social contract or 70 years ago when we created social security. now they say it's unsustainable. is it because the united states of america is actually poorer today than we were then?
you know, one thing -- i wanted to quote from something that ezra kline said. in an article, why rich guys want to raise the retirement age. this is in "the washington post." he says, the first point worth making here is that the country's economy has grown 15-fold since social security was passed into law and one of the things the richest society in the world has ever known can buy is a decentre tirmente for people who don't have jobs they love and who don't want to work forever. i think that's right. it's reich, really, we can't afford -- this is one of the things that we absolutely have to cut. i wanted to make a point about some of these guys, the 7 -- the 71 c.e.o.'s on the fix the debt group that wrote this letter about the things that need to be
done and included the cuts. so here's -- mr. ellison: would the gentlelady yield for a moment? is not bailing them out on that list? is not having to bail them out? ms. schakowsky: bailing them out, that's then. get over it. of course they got a lot of money from taxpayers. why do you keep bringing that up, mr. ellison. that was just a fine thing to do. but here, the 71 fix the debt c.e.o.'s who lead publicly held companies have amassed an average of $9 million in their own company retirement funds. a dozen have more than $20 million in their accounts. so if each of them converted their assets to an annuity when they turned 65, they would receive a monthly check of at least $110,000 for life.
now, one of those scholar, dave cody who i know because i served with him on the simpson bowles commission, he's a longtime advocate of social security cuts. he has a $78 million nest egg. that's enough to provide a $428,000 check every month. $428,000 check every month after he turns 65 years old. and that, since the average monthly social security benefit is a grand $1,230, dave doe cody would get -- and by the way, this doesn't count his social security. receive a retirement income as much as 348 social security beneficiaries. but this is a guy saying that those 348 people who are together going to get as much as he gets ought to see those
social security benefits cut. i just think it's outrageous. this is about who we are. really, we can't afford today the kind of medicare benefits that we had 50 years ago when medicare went in, or 70 years ago. here's the other thing. one of the arguments that's used is that life expectancy has gone up. that's true for some of us, but not for all of us. since 1977, the life expectancy of male workers retiring at age 65 has risen six years in the top half of the income distribution. but if you're in the bottom half of the income distribution, then you just gained 1.3 years. but the fact of the matter is, if you are a poor woman in the united states of america, you have actually lost ground in
terms of longevity in this country. so it is just simply a myth to say that, you know, averages can be deceiving, right? you get, you know a basketball player and all the that, average home to 6'0", even though one is 7'2" or whatever, that's ridiculous. so people whr getting, who are losing life expectancy, and the truth soft the matter is, that actually the -- while the social security retirement age is now about 67, you can retire early at 62, which is the earliest the law allows. you lose some benefits. that's when most people retire. now these are not slackers. these aren't people who now want to lay around at home and eat bonbons. these are people who pretty much
can't wait until their full benefits kick in because they've been working really tough jobs, long hour, on their feet, flipping patients and beds, working with their hands, it is not easy. now what? are these people supposed to go out and find jobs? what jobs? where are those jobs? in order to wait even longer for them to get their social security benefits. so frankly, i am personally pretty resentful that some of the richest people in our country who are now offering advice on how we can save money and fix the debt are offering up senior citizens who -- half of whom make $22,000 or less per year, people -- those seniors who make $85,000 or more a year are already paying more for their medicare benefits.
we're already means testing, a lot of people don't know that, medicare benefits. who are the rich seniors who are supposed to pay more? who are the seniors who are living longer? dave cody and the other c.e.o.'s, they're doing just fine. they want -- they may want to work forever. god love them, god bless them, let them do it and retire with tens of thousands of dollars every single month and their advice is cut the rest of the people. that's not right. mr. ellison: it's not right. here's the reality. in this whole debate, we've had to -- we want to talk about how to deal with expiring, you know, matters like the 2001, 2003 taxes and sequestration. they have a time limit on them. we in congress are here now to address these issues. but does it strike you funny that they keep on talking about
stuff, want to drag it into the debate, that doesn't have anything to do with sequestration or these expiring tax matters. why do they keep talking about social security? why do they want to keep talking about raising the age or cutting the benefits, cutting benefits with medicare and medicaid? one needs to ask the question, if these are problems and they need to be solved, why do they have to be solved in this very limited window of time when there are other things that in fact are expiring? ms. schakowsky: i agree with you. i think what i'm hearing is, let's put those medicare, social security, medicaid in a separate basket and deal with that at another time. social security should not be just even on a different table, it should be in a different room because social security has a big surplus in the trust fund
and hasn't contributed one thin dime to any deficit. medicare and medicaid, i'm all for making those programs more efficient. we can find savings in those programs. but let's remember, you know, it occurred to me that democrats, throw because macare, actually found, does this number sound familiar? $716 billion worth of savings in medicare. that made the program more efficient but didn't touch benefits. we actually improved medicare by finding savings. seems to me that number came up in the election that democrats were somehow stealing from medicare, implying to senior citizens that their programs were being eroded. when in fact their programs were being improved and medicare was made more efficient.
so now that the election is over, they're back to saying, we got to cut these entitlement programs. we just -- they're unsustainable. we can't make it anymore. we're too poor a country. we can't aspire to make sure that people with disabilities and old people are going to have access to health care. can't do it anymore. that was so 20th century. we're done with that. it's really outrageous. the hypocrisy of criticizing us for making the program less -- more cost effective, cost less, the key benefits and now, hitting us over the head with that and now saying, oh, no, never mind. we have to go back and cut those programs. mr. ellison: i appreciate the gentlelady revealing really the real deal here. i mean the president, to his credit is trying to talk too broad cross section of americans. he had labor and progressive groups join him and then the
c.e.o.'s come in. and you know, it's funny, when the c.e.o.'s come in and i'm not talking about everyone, but this letter where they tell us we've got to have austerity, we've got to lower expectations as to what people can expect around other people. ms. schakowsky: other people, not them. mr. ellison: they are extremely well taken care of and come from country -- companies that got direct benefits from the government and now all of a sudden, you know, everybody else has to, you know, tighten their belt. it's shocking, actually, and the real, if there's anything funny about it, it's that they don't get the irony of what they're doing. and i think the american people should know that whenever you see c.e.o.'s from the -- from polluting industries from financial services industries from industries that have gotten a lot of help and benefit from
the government talking about how other people should cut, tighten their belt and lower their expectations, that this ought to be met with -- ms. schakowsky: here's my -- here's blancfein, the c.e.o. of goldman sachs, part of it is he doesn't know what he's talking about. he says, you can look at the history of these things and social security wasn't devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. the ave beneficiary collects about 16 years. so that's a 30-year retirement after 25 years. mr. ellison: he must be talking about himself. ms. schakowsky: the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits has to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments has to be
revised, but in general entitlements has to be slowed down and contained. you know, this is a guy who's a pretty entitled fellow, and the idea of him pawning to these people who, you know, half of whom make -- less than $22,000, doesn't sit well with me and i don't think most americans. it's not just that i think. we've asked most americans. and by the way, people who voted for mitt romney will tell you, do not cut my social security and medicare benefits. they don't want that, and it's not because they're stupid or greedy, as alan simpson would like to make them out to be, it's because in this country retiring with some level of security is something that people have worked all their lives deserve in this country and something that should be a priority. mr. ellison: well, let me quote
mr. blankfein of goldman sachs. he says, quote, you're going to have to do something undoubtedly to lower people's expectations of what they're going to get. the entitlements. and what people think they're going to get, because you're not going to get it. that's what he said. now, this gentleman is a c.e.o. of a firm that receives tens of billions of dollars -- ms. schakowsky: tens of billions. mr. ellison: tens of billions of dollars from direct money and indirect money through access to the fed at lowered rates and now has the -- ms. schakowsky: audacity. mr. ellison: audacity is the only word you can use to start talking about somebody who's making $22,000 a year needs to figure out what they're going to do. and as i -- you know, here's the thing. i remember 2008 very well.
i remember people's 401-k's taking massive hits directly related to the behavior of large banks, and so it used to be you had money you saved, money your -- you saved on the job and then social security, two sources of your retirement income are now dwindling in part because of the behavior of these banks, and one of the leaders of one of the biggest ones is talking about other folks having to get by on less. my question is, what happened to the basic concept of civic virtue? i mean, what happened to the basic idea that, yes, i may be a c.e.o. and, yes, i have an obligation to my shareholders, but i also have an obligation to the community that has fed my business, i have an obligation to the united states that has made it possible for
me to do well. what happened to the basic idea that we're sort of in this thing together? ms. schakowsky: frankly, i think that idea is alive and well and was reflected in the elections on november 6. mr. ellison: i agree. ms. schakowsky: that the idea that we are all in this together, that we do have some responsibility. i want to tell you there isn't a person that goes to synagogue or church or a mosque or a temple that doesn't learn about we are our brothers' and our sister's keepers. we do feed the hungry and take care of the poor, that we have an obligation to do that. you know, so in our private lives and in our faith lives we're taught that as well. it's good economics but it's also the right thing to do, and i also think it's a very american kind of idea and that at the end of the day that most people agree with that. and, you know, when i say under
$22,000, that's income. the average of social security benefit is far below that. is far below that. and so we're talking about very little, very little money to provide not a whole lot of security but some security. mr. ellison: you know, i'd like to advise the gentlelady we have three more minutes. ms. schakowsky: go ahead. mr. ellison: no. i want to encourage you to think about some of your essential points that you may want to repeat for the speaker. but i just wanted to say that, look, the progressive caucus, we're hear with the progressive message, is thinking about these fiscal deadlines that this country is facing. we do believe that we should try to come up with a fair deal in anticipation of sequestration and the expiration of deadlines on some taxes. we believe that the top 2% of the income scale should have to
pay more. we believe that the defense department, which has seen its budget double since 2001, should have to take cuts. we believe we should invest in jobs and get people back to work. and we believe we should protect social security, medicare and medicaid. those are some takeaways that i believe are very important. we believe in negotiating. we believe it's important to do so. we've already given up $1.5 trillion in the last term. people talking about what's on the table, what's off the table. $1.5 trillion should be on the table as cuts that have already taken place. i want to leave the gentlelady time to summarize. ms. schakowsky: i am a proud member of the progressive caucus. but i believe that if you presented what you just said to the american people in general that the vast majority agree with that because it's fair.
that's all. we are willing to find cuts. as you pointed out, we've already done that. that's already been done with $1.5 trillion in cuts. but fairness means not just that starting from scratch we cut everybody across the board, but we do it in a humane and fair and sensible way in our country, and i think the progressive message is the american message, the one that we're hearing from the american people. so i thank you so much for your leadership and going forward. i hope we can help to mobilize, along with the president, mobilize people to support these ideas. mr. ellison: and the gentlelady from illinois has the last word from the progressive message. and we yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. the gentleman yields back.
for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. ellison: i make a motion to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. >> they will debate that bill tomorrow, and that house is back at 9:00 a.m. eastern. off the floor, democrats held their house leadership elections, electing nancy
pelosi. she has been meeting with timothy geithner error and other members of the leadership on both sides of the aisle, and both sides of congress today. we expect to hear comments from leader pelosi. we also heard from john boehner during his briefing. he said there has been no progress between the white house in reaching a deal. he spoke to reporters for just under 10 minutes. >> >> good morning, everyone. the president has warned us about the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff. but his actions have not matched his public statements.
members of his own party seemed quite comfortable with sending the economy over the fiscal cliff. we have a dairy production cuts tuesday we had productive conversation at the white house. despite the claims that the president supports a balanced approach, the democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. secondly, no substantive progress has been made in the talks between the white house and the house over the last two weeks. this is not a game. jobs are on the line. the american economy is on the line. this is a moment for adult leadership. campaign-style or allies is not aid -- campaign-style rally is not the way to get things done in washington. a discussion with the treasury
secretary was frank and direct. we hope to see a specific plan for cutting spending. we sought to find out but the president is unwilling to do. i remain hopeful that productive conversations can be had in the days ahead. but the white house has to get serious. yesterday the leadership team met with erskine bowles and business leaders about averting the fiscal cliff and achieving an approach the white house says it wants. i made clear that we put real concessions on the line by putting revenues on the table right up front. unfortunately, many democrats continue to rule out spending cuts that must be part of any significant agreement will reduce our deficit. mr. bowles himself said yesterday there has been no serious discussion so far. there is a real danger of going off the fiscal cliff. going off the fiscal cliff will
hurt our economy. it will cost american jobs. republicans have taken action to avert the fiscal cliff by passing legislation to stop all the tax hikes, to replace the sequester, and pave the way for tax reform and entitlement reform. we are the only ones with a balanced plan to protect the economy, protect american jobs, and protect the middle class from the fiscal cliff. without spending cuts and entitlement reform, it will be impossible to address our country's debt crisis and get our economy going again and to create jobs. right now all eyes are on the white house. the country does not need a victory lap. it needs leadership. it is time for the president, congressional democrats to tell the american people what spending cuts they're willing to make. with that, i will take a few questions. [indiscernbile]
it has been very clear over the last year and a half. i have talked to the president about many of them. you can look at our budgets where we outlined specific proposals that we passed last year and the year before. we know what the menu is. we do not know what the white house is willing to do to get serious about solving our debt crisis. [indiscernbile] i am not going to get into details, but it is very clear what kind of spending cuts need to occur, but we have no idea what the white house is willing to do. >> most public statements have been optimistic. we are sensing a different tone
in the you right now. are you walking right away from talks? >> nok no, no. stop. i am disappointed in where we are and what has happened of the last couple of weeks. going over the fiscal cliff fiss serious business. i am here seriously trying to resolve it and i would hope the white house would get serious as well. >> based on the meeting with secretary geithner or your phone call with president obama 09 -- obama side, can you tell us something about that phone call? >> we had a very nice conversation last night. it was direct and straightforward. but the assessment i give you today would be a product of both of those conversations. >> how much would you be open to the idea of discretionary spending cuts as far as a down
payment to get to a long-range solution on entitlements? >> there are a lot of options on the table, including that one. >> [indiscernible] you are acknowledging that there will. >> the day after the election, i came here and i made it clear that republicans would put revenue on the table as a way to begin to move the process to get this resolved. >> right, so my question is what message do you have for people who are in the negotiating position or believe that it is inevitable that you have to accept some compromise on taxes? >> revenue is on the table. but revenue was only on the table if there were serious spending cuts as part of this agreement. we have a debt crisis. we're spending too much.
while we're willing to put revenue on the table, we have to recognize that it is the spending that is out of control. >> roughly what size spending cuts do you think it would take to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff? and you think that just the promise of spending cuts have to be included at this level and at this time? >> it is not productive for either side to lay out hard lines as for what size the spending cuts ought to be. there are a lot of options on how you can get there. but the second part of your question was? >> my question is do you think the promise of spending cuts has to be included in the deal that averts the fiscal cliff? >> there is a free-market we presented to the white house two weeks ago. the framework has been agreed to in terms of a down payment for the end of this year.
that would include spending cuts and it would include revenue. setting up a process for entitlement reform next year and tax reform next year. but this is way out of bounds. and not a recognition by the part of the white house on the serious spending problem we have. >> facing the prospect of going over the fiscal cliff or extending the lower tax rate and at the upper one, which would you choose? >> i will do everything i can to avoid putting the american economy and the american people through the fiasco of going over the fiscal cliff. >> [indiscernible] >> as i told the president a couple of weeks ago, there are a lot of things i have wanted in my life, but almost all of them
had a price tag attached to them. if we're going to talk about the debt limit in this, there will be some price tag associated with it. >> are you standing by the dollar-for-dollar on spending cuts? >> i continue to believe that any increase on the debt limit has to be accompanied with spending reductions that meet or exceed it. >> speaker boehner from earlier today, also expecting to hear from democratic leader nancy pelosi following her meeting with treasury secretary tim geithner on the fiscal cliff. we will show you that later in our schedule. right now, we will take you to new york to the united nations where palestinian leaders will be bidding for a u.n. recognition of state could. the resolution would live to the palestinian authority you an observer status from entity to non-member state, like the vatican, and is expected to pass
the 193-nation general assembly. at least 50 european states plan to vote for it. israel and the united states are strongly opposed because it would conflict with the peace deal. streaming live here on c-span. >> sri lanka, chile, somalia, china, iraq, grenada, guyana, the palestine, venezuela, vietnam, catarrh, khazikstan, cuba, kuwait, kenya, 11 non, libya, molly, malaysia, madagascar, egypt, morocco,
saudi arabia, mauritania, namibia, nigeria, nicaragua, india, yemen, qaeda stan, .elarus mr. president, this important draft resolution is aimed at taking a historic decision, granting palestine the status of non-member observer state. the preamble of the drafted resolution refers to the unacceptability of territory by
force stipulated in the charter. the other paragraph in the preamble reaffirms the right of the palestinian people to self- determination, including their right to an independent state of palestine. mr. president, a certain paragraph in the preamble reaffirms prevalent revolutions to the security council as well as the general assembly concerning the peaceful -- that mentions among others that israel must withdraw from occupied palestinian territories, occupied since 1967. that the inalienable rights of
the palestinian people with the right to self-determination and their right to establish an independent state must be achieved. as well as an equitable settlement for the refugees of palestine, as well as the complete cessation of israeli settlements. the paragraphs in the preamble recall the resolution of the general assembly where it has taken note of the proclamation of the state of palestine by the national palestinian council on the 15th of november, 1988.
these paragraphs also the right of all states in the region to live in peace within a safe and internationally recognized borders and the right of those states to live in peace and security side-by-side. as for the opening paragraphs, it reaffirms the right of the palestinian people to self- determination and to independence instead of posting -- in side of palestine within the territory since 1969. the general assembly is called
upon to grant palestine the status of non-member observer state. i repeat, we are asking the general assembly to accord to palestine and non-member observer state status. without prejudging the rights and privileges here of the organization as represented by the palestinian people. to the operative paragraphs, they also call for determination to the inalienable
rights of the palestinian people and also ask that the israeli occupation the began in 1967 and make it possible to be true states. it also expresses the region need to continue negotiations in order to achieve a peaceful, just, lasting and comprehensive solution. paragraphs 6 of the resolution urges all states and organizations to continue to support the palestinian people in their right to self- determination and to freedom. as soon as possible. mr. president, independence, freedom, the right to self- determination, these are
principles that have been enshrined by the united nations charter and this is a historic day because [indiscernible] the resolution brought your attention has taken a long time to come here and to make an official decision 65 years ago. when the united nations decided -- a state which required independence and the other has waited until now appear this is a historic day. the eyes of all the children in palestine are directed toward the support of the general
assembly and realize that their aspirations -- the general assembly, since that date 65 years ago, adopted many resolutions reaffirming the right of the palestinian people, including their right to self- determination, and reaffirming the need to achieve a just solution to the question of palestine under the solutions -- the resolutions international legitimacy. it is an additional milestone along the path to realizing the international will to establish a real peace in the middle east based on the two-state solution. that is why i call upon all states to contribute today, to
make history and to pave the way for the future by voting for the draft resolution. mr. president, in conclusion, i can only express our great gratitude to all of the state's who have entered into this draft resolution, showing in this with their support for the drafting of this charter and it is a victory for the values of truth. it is a victory for the palestinian people who are watching us. thank you very much, mr. president. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
attending to its wounded, burying its beloved murders of women, children and men who have been victims of the israeli aggression, still searching for signs of life among the homes destroyed by israeli bombs on the gaza strip, wiping out entire families. they are men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future, and their longing to live an ordinary life. and to live in freedom and peace. palestine comes today to the general assembly because it believes in peace and because its people, as proven in past
days, are in desperate need of it. palestine comes today to this prestigious international forum, the representative to of and protector of international legitimacy, firm and our conviction that the international community now stands before the last chance to save the to-state solution. palestine comes to today as the defining moment regionally and internationally in order to reaffirm its presence and to try to protect the possibilities and the foundations of a just peace [indiscernible] mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, the israeli aggression against our people in
the gaza strip has concerned -- has confirmed once again the year urgent and pressing need -- the urgent and pressing need to end the occupation, for our people to get their freedom and independence. this aggression also concerns use ofaeli government's brute force which, in turn, obliges the international community to fulfil its responsibilities to the palestinian people toward peace. that is why we're here today. i say with great pain and sorrow, there is certainly no one in the world that required the tens of palestinian children lose their lives.
they're worth dozens of deadly raids and tons of explosives and an occupation that must come to an end and that there are a people that must be liberated. and there was the need for the new devastating war an order for us to be aware of the axis of peace. that is why we're here today. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, the palestinian people, who recovered from the ashes in 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to up route and erase their presence, which was rooted in
the death of their land and the deaths of history -- rooted in the depths of their land and the depths of history, they were taken from their homeland, from their beautiful, embracing and prosperous country to refugee camps. in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing in modern history, in those dark days, our people have looked to the united nations as a beacon of hope and appealed for achieving justice and peace, the realization of all rights and our people still believe in this and continue to wait.
that is why we're here today. ladies and gentlemen, our people have always tried to ensure harmony and conformity between the golden means of their struggle and international law and the spirit of the era in accordance with prevailing changes and our people have always strived not to lose their humanity. despite the horrors that continue to be followed today. despite the enormity and waves of attacks, the palestinian
organization, the sole representative of the palestinian people and the constant leader of the revolution and struggle, has consistently strive to achieve this harmony and conformity. on the palestine national council decided in 1988 to pursue the palestinian peace initiative and adopted the declaration of independence which was based on the solution adopted by this body. it was under the late leadership of -- the leadership of the late president yasser arafat at this courageous decision define the requirements for historic reconciliation that turned the
page on war and occupation. this was not an easy method. yes, we had the courage and responsibility to make the right decisions, to protect the higher interests of our people. it was the decision which, in the same year, awas welcomed and supported by this high body that is meeting today. ladies and gentlemen, we have heard and you, too, have heard specifically over the past month the incessant flood of israeli threats in response to a
peaceful, political and diplomatic endeavor for palestine to acquire non-member observer state in the united nations? you have surely witnessed some of these threats have been carried out in a barbaric and her thick manner just days ago in the gaza strip. showe have not heard one word fm one israeli official expressing concern. our people continue to witness an unprecedented military response, the blockade, and ethnic cleansing, particularly in occupied east jerusalem.
attacks by settlers, by which this israeli occupation has become synonymous with a system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes racism and entrenches discrimination and excitement. the perpetration of war crimes stems from his conviction that it is above international law and that it has immunity from accountability and consequences. this belief, unfortunately, is seen by some to condemn and demand its termination of abominations and crimes and
equate the victim and the executioner. the moment has arrived for the world to see it clearly enough of aggression, settlements, and occupation. this is why we are here now. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we did not come here seeking to deep legitimize -- to delegitimize a state acknowledged years ago, is real. rather, we came to observe a state that must achieve its independence and that is palestine.
we did not come here to add further complications to the peace process, which israel's policies have thrown into the intensive care unit. rather, we came to launch a final attempt to achieve peace. aaron devore and our endeavor does not and the negotiation process. it is time to breathe new life into negotiations and establishing solid foundations. in order for the negotiations to succeed. ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the palestine liberation organization, i say we will not give up. we will not tire.
and our determination will not wayne and we'll continue to -- will not wain and will continue to strive for peace. above all, our people will not relinquish their inalienable national rights as defined by united nations resolutions. and those people cling to the right to defend themselves against aggression and occupation. and they will continue the popular peaceful resistance. this is what we can do. to continue popular peaceful resistance and their epic steadfastness. and there will continue to live on their land and and the
division [indiscernible] on all the palestinian territory occupied in 1967 to live in peace successfully with israel and the issue of the basis of the resolution, the arab peace initiative. [applause] i do not think this is terrorism. we must repeat once again a warning that the window of opportunity is narrowing and time is quickly running out. patience is shortening. innocent lives that have been
taken by israel he -- isrealis, were women and children, including members of a family in gaza. it is a painful reminder to the world that this racist organization is making the two state solution and the prospect a very difficult choice, if not impossible. it is time for action. it is time to move forward. that is why we are here today. [applause] mr. president, ladies and
gentlemen, the world is being asked today to undertake and answer a specific question -- is a surplus people in our region? the world must see if we are a surplus people or if there is a state that is likely that must be embodied as palestine? the world is being asked to undertake a significant step in rectifying the unprecedented historic injustice inflicted on the palestinian people since 1948. every voice supporting our
endeavor today is the most valuable voice of courage. [applause] every state that is in support of palestine's request has given moral support for freedom and the rights of people and international law and peace. your support for our endeavor today sends a promising message to millions of palestinians and in the refugee camps and to the prisoners longing for freedom in israeli prisons. there is a reason to be hopeful.
this is why we are here today. [applause] your support for our endeavor today gives hope to a people besieged by a racist colonial occupation. in a state of paralysis, some are trying to impose on the national community, your support, ladies and gentlemen, will bring hope to our people that they are not alone.
the international law will never be a losing proposition. i come here today to acquire member state status and it will be affirmed that palestine will always adhere and respect the charter and resolutions of the united nations and international law and uphold the quality of civil liberties and protect the rights of women. this is what we are pledging today, as we promised our friends. and for our brothers and sisters, we will continue to fight for them on our request to update alice stein's status s.-palestine's statu
we will cooperate with the countries and peoples of the world for the sake of a just peace. ladies and gentlemen, 65 years ago on this day, the united nations general assembly adopted a resolution which said the land of historic palestine into two states and became the birth certificate for israel. 65 years later on the same day which an esteemed body has delegated an international day of solidarity for the stands beforepopeople
a moral duty which it must not hesitate and it cannot endure further delay. the chance for peace is urgent. it cannot be postponed. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, the united nations general assembly is here today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the state of palestine. [applause] this is why we are here today. it is our hope, ladies and gentlemen, the hope in god and
. [applause] >> i represent the world's only jewish state. it's eternal capital jerusalem as the beacon. we are a nation with the deeper roots in the past and bright hopes for the future. we are a nation that values idealism, but ask with pragmatism. israel is a nation that never hesitate to defend itself, but will always extend its hand or piece. peace is a value of society. it is taught in our schools and every israeli leaders since israel was established 60 years ago. we extend our hand to all neighboring states and their people in an offer of peace and good neighborly. we will establish bonds of cooperation and mutual health. this week was the ready fifth anniversary of president's historic visit to jerusalem. in a speech before the visit, he
famously stood in the egyptian parliament in cairo and stated that he would go, "2-d and-- to the ends of the world to have peace with isreal." he said this about the resolution that you have vowed to vote on. he said he was prepared to live in peace with a palestinian state, but for peace to endure, security must be protected. they must be prepared to and the conflict with israel once and for all. none of these a vital interests
appear in the resolution that would be put forward b before te general assembly today. this is why israel cannot accept it. the only way to achieve peace is to reach agreement and not through the un resolutions that completely ignore israel's vital security and national interests. this resolution is one-sided. it pushes things backward. as for the rise of the jewish people, i have a simple message for those people gathered in the general assembly today -- no decision by the un can break the 4000-year-old bond between the people of israel and the land of israel. [applause] mr. president, the people of
israel wait for a palestinian leader in that that is willing to follow in the path -- the world waits for president abbas to speak the truth of peace that can only be achieved through negotiation by recognizing israel as a jewish state. it waits for him to tell him that he will address israel's security needs and end the conflict once and for all. he prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he refers to travel to new york for you and resolutions rather than travel to jerusalem for hope and dialogue, any hope of peace would be out of reach. israel has always extended its hand in peace and will always extend its hand for peace. when we face and a rebel leader who wanted peace, we made peace.
-- when we faced an arab leader who wanted peace, we made peace. time and again, we have been met with rejection for our offers and denial of our rights and terrorism. the only thing his story about this speech how much he has ignored history. the truth is that 65 years ago today, the united nations voted to petition the british mandate into two states -- a jewish state and an arab state. two states for two people. israel accepted this plan. the palestinians and the arabs rejected this. they want to throw the jews into the sea. from 1948 and 1967, the west
bank was used by jordan and gaza was ruled by egypt. they created a palestinian state. instead, they sought israel's destruction and were joined by newly formed terrorist organizations. the truth is that camp david in 2000 and again in 2008, israel made far reaches for peace. they were met with rejection and even terrorism. in 2005, israel dismantled and entire communities and uprooted thousands of people from their homes. rather then use this opportunity to have a peaceful future, the palestinians and gaza --
thousands of rockets were fired into cities. areas have been turned into a launching pad for rockets into israel he cities and a haven for global terror and an ammunition dump for iranian weapons. they refuse to accept responsibility and make the tough decisions for east. -- peace. israel remains committed to peace. we need a peace that will endure, a peaceful that will secure the peace of israel. never extended our hand for peace to president abbas we have extended our hand-
for peace to president abbas. we want the palestinian state to recognize israel as a jewish state. that is right, two states for two people. in fact, president abbas, i did not hear you use the phrase two states for two people this afternoon. i have never heard you say the phrase "two states for two people." palestinian leadership has never recognized israel as a state for jewish people. they have never been willing to accept what this very body recognized 65 years ago. israel is a jewish state. in fact, you recognize a palestinian state, but you refuse to recognize the jewish
state. not only do not recognize it, you try to erase a jewish history. you have tried to erase the connection between the jewish people and jerusalem. you said the jews were trying to alter the historical character of jerusalem. you said that we are trying to change jerusalem. resident abbas, the truth is that jerusalem is him has a jewish character -- has a jewish character long before other cities had character. president abbas, and set every by xing history, it is time that you started making history by making peace with israel -- changing history, it is time that you started making history by making peace with israel.
it will not change the fact that the palestinian authority has no control over gaza. that is 40% of the territory they claim to represent. president abbas, you cannot visit nearly half of the territory of the state you claim to represent. that territory is controlled by hamas, and internationally recognized terrorist organization that has reigneaind missiles over israel. right into the heart of israel's cities this month. this resolution will not enable the palestinian authority to join international treaties, organizations, or conferences.
this resolution cannot serve as an acceptable alternative to these negotiations with israel. this resolution says nothing about israel's security needs. and does not call on palestinian to recognize israel as a jewish state. it does not end the conflict. let me tell you what this resolution does do. this resolution violates fundamental binding commitments. this is a commitment that many states gathered here today in this chamber and stan witness to the commitment that all standing issues would only be resolved in direct negotiations. the resolution sends a message that the international community is willing to turn a blind eye to peace agreements.
are the people of israel, it raises a simple question -- why continue to make painful sacrifices for peace in exchanges are pieces of paper that the other side will not honor? if you make a negotiated peace negotiation -- it makes a piece negotiated -- peace negotiation unlikely. it will raise expectations that cannot be met, which is always proven to be the recipe for conflict and instability. that route runs through direct negotiations that would lead to a secure and lasting peace between israel his and
palestinians. there are no shortcuts, no quick axis, no quick solutions, as president obama said in 2010. peace cannot be imposed from the outside. the real message of this resolution for the people of israel is that the in the national community would turn a blind eye to violations by the palestinians. in submitting this resolution, the palestinian leadership is once again making the wrong choice. 65 years ago, palestinians could have chosen to live side- by-side with the jewish state of israel. 65 years ago, they could have chosen to accept the solution of two states are two people. they rejected it. they are rejecting it again today. the international community
should not encourage this rejection. they cannot encourage us to drive forward recklessly with no hands on the wheel and no eyes on the road. instead, it should encourage the palestinians to enter into --direc direct asian' negotiations. mr. president, winston churchill said, "the truth is in convertible. ignorance may be righted. malice may be sorted, but there it is." the truth is that israel wants peace and the palestinians are avoiding it.
this resolution is not advancing peace, but undermining it. the un was created to advance the cause of peace. palestinians are turning their back on peace. today, -- do not let history record that the you and help them do that. thank you, mr. president. [applause] >> that esteemed representative of israel. i now give the floor to the minister of foreign affairs of indonesia. [applause]
>> mr. president, mr. secretary- general, the time has come for the international community to set rings right. no longer can the world turn a blind eye to the long- suffering's of the palestinian people. the denial of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, the obstruction of their rise to self-determination and to independence. no longer can the world deny that despite enormous barriers, palestinians have diligently and with great result doubled capacity to function as a state. they are ready to stand equal as
any other state in this assembly. they are ready to unleash its full potential as a force for progress. there can be no reason, therefore, white international community cannot endorse the request for statehood to palestine. 24 years ago, the assembly, through its resolution, has acknowledged -- as a state. we reiterate the hope that palestine's application to full membership in the united nations will be favorably considered. we hope that palestine's full membership is consistent with the shared vision of a two state
solution. we believe the independent state of palestine with equal rights and equal responsibilities to those of other states will contribute to a just and lasting peace in the middle east. mr. president, the indiscriminate violence and the disproportionate use in gaza and palestine, serves as a serious reminder as a need and acceleration for the peace process. put an end of collective punishment.
mr. president, by appointing them statehood to the state of palestine, we are signaling the primacy of diplomacy and the rejection of violence. we are making a strong statement for the need of mutual respect among nations. we are beginning to address historic injustices. all humankind, it including the long-suffering people of palestine, is entitled to human rights and fundamental freedoms. thank you, mr. president. [applause]
>> that was the foreign minister of indonesia. i now give the floor to his excellency, the minister of canada. >> mr. president, canada opposes this resolution and the strongest of terms because it undermines the core foundations of a decade-long commitment to the international community and the parties themselves to its two state solution. we understand a final resolution remains elusive kaund, canada hs opposed unilateral action by both sides to be unhelpful.
we do not believe that unilateral measures taken by one site can be justified by accusations of unilateralism directed at the other. that approach can only result in the steady erosion of the very foundations of a process which while incomplete holds the only realistic chance to bring about two peaceful and prosperous states living side-by-side as neighbors. canada's support for a negotiated settlement is rooted in the very history of this venerable organization and in the sustained and national effort to resolve this matter. canada was proud to be one of the countries preparing the blueprints for peace as part of the 1997 un special committee on
palestine. that committee came up with a proposal for a two state solution, one predominately jewish, and the other predominately arab, living side- by-side. it resulted in the passage of the un general assembly resolution 181 setting out a plan. however, not all of those who should have supported the decision were prepared to do so. the people of the region have suffered for seven decades as a result. even in those early and difficult days, the principle of collaboration between the two parties was seen as an inherent necessity as reflected in them collaboration of a plan for economic union between the two sides. while resolution 101 is never been fully implemented, the idea
that two parties need to work together to achieve their mutual and intertwined destinies and potential, has survived. they need to find an elusive east. in 1940 eight, un resolution 194 set up a commission aimed at finding solutions to the problems facing the two sites. -- in 1948, un resolution 194 set up a commission aimed at finding solutions to the problems facing the two sides. in 1967, the un security council passed resolution 242. the council requested the dispatch of a special representative of the secretary general to the region to promote agreement and assist effort to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement. entrenching for the principle
that solutions require the acceptance and collective action of both sides. this idea was reaffirmed in 1973 and un resolution 338. there was an immediate cease- fire negotiation aimed at establishing a just and endurable peace. these two resolutions 242 and 33 formed a cornerstone of all subsequent peace commitments and understandings that followed between the two parties describing the need for negotiations as a core principle. both israel'ia and palestinians -- israelis and palestinians --
article one made that point explicitly in highlighting that interim is an integral part of the peace process and that negotiations will lead to implementation of security council resolutions 242 and 338. in 1995, an important foundation. in the preamble, both sides reaffirmed their desire to achieve a just and lasting peace and to start reconciliation to the greek political process. article 31, section seven, stipulated that neither side shall initiate or take any steps toward changing the west bank. un security resolution 1397 called on the israeli and
palestinian sides to cooperate with the aim of resuming negotiation on a political settlement. it also offered support to the secretary-general and others and their efforts to resume the peace process. the following year in 2003, there was a roadmap developed. covering peace, security, and humanitarianism. a key element of the principles contained in the roadmap was a requirement of clear and unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement that was needed to reach the destination. it goes on to say that a
negotiation settled between the parties would be resulted in a democratic and palestinian state living side-by-side with israel and its other neighbors. the roadmap required by its very nature a collaborative effort requiring reciprocal steps by the two sides. later that year, the un security council 1515 formally endorsed the roadmap while calling on the parties to fulfill their obligations under the roadmap in cooperation and to achieve the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. -- bilateralution negotiation. the resolution reaffirmed international support for the quartet principles and the
determination of both parties to reach their goal of putting a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues without exception. it also called on both sides to refrain from any steps that could undermine the president's of the outcome a negotiation -- the prejudice of the outcome of a negotiation. the resolution and various international commitments and understanding of over nearly seven decades have formed the building block of a collaborative peace process that remains unfinished. the path to peace has rested in direct negotiations between the two parties to resolve their issues and it remains the same today. solutions can only come to the two sides working together. this resolution before us will not advance the cause of peace or spur the return to negotiation. will the palestinian people be better off as a result? no.
it would raise unrealistic expectations about doing nothing to improve the lives of the palestinian people. canada is committed to a comprehensive and just peace in the middle east where the two states living side-by-side in peace, security, and prosperity . any two state solution must be negotiated and mutually agreed- upon between both sides. any unilateral action from either side outside of a framework is ultimately not helpful. candidate has long supported efforts to bring the two sides to the bargaining table to resolve all outstanding issues. we remain committed to that object of today. he cannot support an initiative that we believe will undermine them reaching a comprehensive and lasting settlement for both sides. it is for this reason that canada is voting against this resolution.
we will be considering all available next steps. we call for both sides to come to the table. candidate will be there to offer its full support. thank you. [applause] >> i thank the minister of foreign affairs from canada. i now give the floor to his excellency, the minister of foreign affairs of turkey. [applause] >> his excellency, the president of palestine, the united
nations, excellency's, and turkish, we have a saying, " one who closes and i only has -- an eye only has one eye." many have closed their eyes to the rights of the palestinian people. for 65 years, no resolution that has been accepted has been honored. no one can erase the palestinian people by closing their eyes. it is on the streets of gaza where thousands of people live through an inhumane and open prison.
it is on the streets of west bank where people have to go through checkpoints nearly on every corner. it is in the heart of the palestinian people who have been subject to exile, massacres, wars, collective punishment for many decades. the right of palestine is in the consciousness of all humanity, of all of us. i have personally witnessed the realities in gaza at the height of the crisis. i came across a father who lost his daughter a moment ago during the bombardment which also left his wife terribly wounded. leaning his head on my chest to seek some relief, he has tears gedy.ll his family's strategfama
he also tells me that tragedy of the whole palestinian nation. today is a milestone. we have a chance to open our eyes to the realities. today we have an opportunity to help the palestinian people, who aspire for having a chance to uphold the dignity's. i am please to participate in the historic meeting of this general assembly. we have gathered here to write an injustice against the palestinian people. for that future, we should stand behind palestine to become a
state. this is a moment of truth for all of us. may have been not -- they have been denied of this right. last year, the palestinian president mahmud abbas, applied for full membership. unfortunately, the application has been left unanswered. here comes another chance for us. we ask to honor the obligation to the palestinians and to grant them membership of a state. it it is high time for all of us to uphold the universal values of justice and dignity. there is one if term which characterizes humanity, that is dignity.
the struggle of the palestinian people in the past 65 years -- they want respect and the commission of the rights to determine their own futures. we cannot shy away from supporting its demands to have a state of their own. [applause] that will represent an independent state, finally we stood together.
this is hours on stability to that dusty and people. -- to the palestinian people. this will not be achieved until we see the state of palestine standing side-by-side with hours as a full member of the united nations. i hope that day will come soon. [applause] we have three main reasons to do so. first, it is a humanitarian and moral publication on our part. no one can deny the suffering of the palestinians since the first world war until today. there was always an excuse for the inhumane treatment of the
palestinian people. secondly, it is about the lyrical and historical context. unfortunately, there was a comprehensive piece on two states living side-by-side in peace has been put on ice. instead, day by day, -- it is not sustainable, nor is it acceptable. it has resulted in the loss of many civilian lives. meanwhile, the continued expansion of illegal settlements undermines the solution of a two state resolution.
peace in the middle east and beyond be achieved without a just and comprehensive resolution to the palestinian issue. negotiations made in the region -- supporting the palestinian peace is about whether we want a lasting peace in the middle east and beyond. renting palestine -- granting palestine statehood would be a booster. our call is for peace. no more and no less. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, we need to have unbiased manner, prudence, and vigilance. it obliges us to listen to the call early leaf and justice for
the palestinian people, which we have turned deaf so far. we have to stop -- the argument that the palestinians must resume negotiations before getting statehood is passed issue. there are great to see that there have been efforts to deter palestinians at the un. in this episode, we have been told that now is not the right time. for some, the timing was also not right. the argument goes back to when the un general assembly decided resolution 181 on a petition
from 1987. let me speak bluntly -- if not now, when? when will it be the right time for the palestinians to achieve the right at statehood if not today? [applause] the current peace process can no more be used to undermine the palestinian request to become a recognized state. distinguished representatives, the completion of palestinian statehood is not an option, but a moral, political, and strategic obligation for the community. i want to address and salute all palestinians, from jerusalem to gaza.
[cheers and applause] we, as turkey, will stand by you for ever. you are not alone and we will not leave you alone. [applause] we will stand by you until there is a free and independent halla stein -- palestine. i call on all un members to put their long overdue responsibility to do our listing is. stinians.damien' bring relief to the entire palestinian nation.
palestine into the united nations, i will give a few remarks of my own. as president of the general assembly. mr. secretary-general, mr. president, esteemed foreign ministers and excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, during the course of this meeting, we had the distinct privilege to hear from representatives of two great nations -- president of mood of bassa palestine and ambassador -- president mahmud abbas a palestine and the ambassador of israel. both come from a land that has
been tormented by conflict for many centuries with countless victims on all sides. this strife during the 67 years of this organization's existence, despite the fact it came into being to save the succeeding generation from war, notwithstanding the efforts of some of the greatest statesman of the 20th century, and negotiated commented settlement enabling israel and palestine to live side-by-side in peace and security has yet to materialize. so is that estrangement and mistrust, they continue to bury
their children. in mobilizing an interconnected world, what happens on the river jordan on the shores of the mediterranean has become the key to security and well-being of the entire mankind. excellencies, i have no doubt that history will judge this day as having been fraught with significance. whether it will be looked upon as the right direction on the road to peace will depend on how we bear ourselves in its wake. let us therefore have the wisdom to act on the goal that we all share. and coming to the end of my remarks, allow me to extend an appeal to all of you, and to my dear friend from palestine and israel, to work with peace and
negotiate in good faith and succeed in reaching a historical settlement. this is your most solemn duty to the world, but first and foremost to the proud men and women who live in the land that is holy to so many of us. it is written, "god is he'speac. his name is peace. all is bound together in the peace." excellencies, in a few moments i will ask you to cast your ballot as you see fit. i am sure that each of you will do so with a feeling in your
heart that your choice is serving the cause of a righteous peace. thank you for your attention. [applause] and assembly will now take a resolution on draft entitled status of palestine in the united nations. i want now to the floor to the undersecretary general. >> thank you, mr. president. i would like to announce since the submission of the draft resolution and in addition to allegations listed on the document, the following countries have also become cosponsors of -- angola.